Friday, 1 December 2017

CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac is here!

This is the moment when both Shakes and I can sit back and breathe a collective sigh of relief - for a little while. Over the past couple of weeks we have been able to show you the author listing and the cover. Now, we have the completed product and are both really proud to present the second of our publications, CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac, to the world at large.

It contains sixteen stories by some very talented writers, their tales reaching into many of horror's darker corners. Some of these writers inhabited the pages of the inaugural Infernal Clock anthology, others are new additions, either way we hope you will enjoy their offerings and would love it if you got in touch with them to let them know what you thought of their stories. A contributors page at the rear of the book contains links to the writers. Get in touch and show them some love - they deserve it.

The book itself is available from Amazon in both Kindle and print formats.




The US BOOK LINK will follow

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Cover Reveal

David Shakes and Setphanie Ellis extend their infernal thanks to artist Tim Youster for following in the footsteps of Tam Rogers and delivering an awesome cover for our second anthology. Release date to follow...

Monday, 6 November 2017

CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac TOC Reveal

The Infernal Clock is proud to announce that CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac is almost here. For the past few weeks I have been working with the anthology's contributors to craft the book into a product of which all can be proud - and I may be biased, but it does contain some rather wonderful stories. And who are these writers? Well, it's about time we let you into our little secret:

CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac

Table of Contents

The Hazing of Philip King – Christina Dalcher
The Presentation in the Temple – Ewan Smith
The Blessing of the Throats – Stephanie Ellis
The Wind of the Hurricane – Mark A. King
Last Laugh – Marie McKay
The Dance – Stephanie Ellis
Revels with the Devil – Sal Page
The Green Man’s Fete – Clive Tern
A Question of Lila No Name – Catherine Connolly
The Exile’s Harvest – Sian Brighal
Mabon – F. E. Clark
Punky Night – Craig Anderson
Crying the Neck – Chris Stanley
Soul Searching – AJ Walker
Neon Hearts – Chris Milam
The First Visitor – David Shakes

What next? The majority of the stories are now safely tucked up in the master draft of the anthology and I have just a tiny number of stories to finish editing in conjunction with their creators. I am also waiting on one submission. Once these are incorporated into the master, there’ll be another proof-read/edit to pick up any little glitches and it’s off to preparing the anthology for release into the digital and print worlds. Over to Shakes at that point.

Most bios have been submitted – if you haven’t sent in yours, could you please email one in (100 words max).

Art work? Well you’ve seen Shakes playing around with images on twitter and we do have someone working on the cover but you’ll have to wait and see for that.

Yes, timescale has been shunted slightly BUT not by much. Definitely in time for a few Christmas stockings!

Infernally Yours,


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Emerian Rich presents Dusk's Warriors

This week, The Infernal Clock is pleased to welcome Emerian Rich announcing her latest publication, Dusk's Warriors. Over to Emerian:

I’ve always been fascinated with libraries and research centers. If I knew more about them as a child, I probably would have ended up a research assistant!

In Dusk’s Warriors, one of my favorite parts is when Reidar gets to tour the Vampire Artifact Museum. It must be odd seeing your own items on display as museum items. Maybe one day people will be touring your home or your gravesite wondering how you lived and what you might think of them studying your life.

Here is an excerpt of Dusk’s Warriors that will inspire many questions. What items might be placed in a “you” museum? Your journal? Your hair brush? Your crushed soda can?
Behind a door with a sign that read, “Vampire Artifact Museum,” Reidar found himself staring at a large oil painting of himself. In the painting, Reidar stood atop a snowy mountain ridge, a bloodied corpse at his feet and wolves by his side. He looked quite Viking-ish with fur and leather covering him, a massive Mj√∂lnir in his hand and his mouth open, showing elongated canines. At first sight, Reidar chuckled.
“Painted by one of our scribes. Grandfather always wanted you to see this to tell him if it was an accurate depiction of events.”
“Not so dramatic, but yes, I suppose I might have appeared as grisly when emerging from battle.”
“He thought you may think it was over the top, but wondered if he got the amulet right.”
Reidar’s eyes fell to the left side of the painting where his twin clutched an amulet in his hand.
“My word, it’s spot on.” A sharp pain twinged in his heart.
“He would’ve been very proud to hear it.”
Taking a deep breath and swallowing hard, Reidar let the pain in his chest subside. Memories of his sister could still shake him to the core. It had been hundreds of years, but he still couldn’t let the pain of her passing go.
“Through here is the screening room with a video my grandfather made for new agents. NOSS agents and those recruited by our sister agencies all over the world who are assigned to Vampire Studies must complete his vampire course before they serve their first day as an agent. For years he trained students in New York, but in 1997 it was decided New York was too risky a place to keep our knowledge and we were moved here to Chicago.”
“When did Salvador pass on?”
“It’s been eight years now. He held on as long as he could. He worked right up until his ninety-first birthday. Three months later, he was gone. The work kept him going. I am sure if he could have still managed to walk these halls, he would still be writing away in his journals. His body gave out before his brain did.”
Remorse flooded over Reidar as he thought of Salvador. Reidar had never looked in on old Salvador, although they were friends for so long. He could have tended to him in his last days. He could have turned him. It was too late.
Matteo led Reidar into the next room which held an array of vampire artifacts under glass cases. Weapons, letters, jewelry, and a full suit of Victorian dress on a mannequin stood on display. Reidar gave due respect to each object. He found several of his own items he had left with Salvador and chuckled when he saw a bottle of ‘Real blood wine bottle from Reidar Per Hogberg’s collection’. His discarded bottle as an artifact was comical. Only did he take real pause when he saw a set of iridescent bejeweled peacock colored hair accessories labeled, ‘Hair combs, circa 1923. Commissioned by Severina Santos by local jewelry artist in Manhattan, 1923. These combs were never retrieved from the shop. The vampires left the area before completed.’
“Tell me about these,” Reidar said as he watched the glint of the jewels in the light and imagined them in Severina’s red wavy locks.
“Oh, yes, when our researchers went into the Manhattan apartments after the three, Severina, Julien, and Markham left the country, we found many things. One of them was a package addressed to Severina Titian. When we questioned the artist, he said Mrs. Titian was very kind and requested this design specifically. She’d paid in advance and called again and again at his shop to inquire about how they were coming along. He couldn’t believe she’d left the country without them. Our researchers found they were indeed Severina’s, although she was going by Titian at that time, we presume to match Julien’s assumed name. They were known as the ‘it’ couple back then in New York society, you know?”
“May I take them back to her?”
“Take them?” Matteo’s face showed concern and confusion. “I don’t know. I don’t have the authority to give away one of our artifacts.”
“They are hers. She paid for them.”
“True...” Matteo hesitated.
“What if I were to give you a piece of jewelry, older and with much more meaning?”
Matteo did not speak as Reidar pulled a leather pouch from his belt and produced the amulet from the painting at the museum entrance. Matteo’s breath caught in his throat.
“You don’t mean...”
Reidar nodded.
“But this means so much to you. I’ve read the recount of your sister’s tragedy in my grandfather’s journals. Are you sure you wish to part with it?”
“I am. For Severina’s combs.”
“I’m not sure I...” Matteo looked about ready to explode from excitement.
“A piece of jewelry owned by a vampire for years, cherished by his sister, dating back to the ninth century, in exchange for combs not even touched by vampire hands?”
“Uh…let me get the proper approval.” Matteo stood. “I’ll return as soon as I can. Feel free to look around.”

by Emerian Rich

Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.

Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.

Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?

Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:
“All hail, the queen of Night's Knights has returned! Emerian Rich's unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shaurette, Lilith's Love

“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won't be able to put down.”
~David Watson, The All Night Library

Praise for Night’s Knights: 
“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor

“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder

Emerian Rich is an artist, horror host, and author of the vampire series, Night’s Knights. She is the hostess of the internationally acclaimed podcast, Under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal, she writes the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and she’s the Editorial Director for the Bay Area magazine, SEARCH. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Tick, Tock - CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac

The summer has passed and the nights are drawing in, and now The Infernal Clock is swinging back into action. As the time nears the deadline for our CalenDark anthology call—30th September, hint, hint—we thought it would be a good idea to give out a little update on what we have received so far. Remember submissions will be accepted on quality rather than just because you were the only one to submit for that particular day.

CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac 
  • (Twelfth Night/Lord of Misrule - Christina Dalcher)
  • Imbolc/St Brigid’s Day/Candlemas – 1 submission
  • (Blessing of the Throats - Stephanie Ellis)
  • St. Valentine’s Day
  • April Fool’s Day
  • Ostara/Eostre/Vernal Equinox
  • Walpurgis Night
  • Beltane/May Day – 1 submission
  • Midsummer’s Day/St John’s Day/Summer Solstice
  • Lammas Day/Freyfest - 1 submission
  • Mabon/Autumnal Equinox
  • Punky Night - 1 submission
  • Samhain/Halloween
  • All Soul’s Day/Day of the Dead
  • Yule/Winter Solstice
  • (New Year’s Eve - David Shakes)

I hope this helps you decide which day you wish to write for. In addition, if we do not receive enough entries we may extend the deadline—but it would be great if we could produce it as planned.

Re length of story and editing. We have indicated 5000 words maximum, however if it is slightly over we won’t worry too much. There might be some editing involved which will remove some extra words or it may be that we accept as is. Minor edits, eg typos, will be carried out by ourselves, other edits that may be required will be worked on with the author of that story.

Now we'll leave you alone to get on with your writing.

Steph and Shakes

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Infernal Clock Submission Call: CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac

The Devil has claimed the face and hands of time but he also makes his presence felt day in, day out. He takes the days, the months, the seasons as they change. He follows the year according to his own dark calendar, his CalenDark. This, then, is the theme of our next anthology, to deliver dark tales for dark days. The days which we have chosen, and which we invite you to submit for, are:

(Twelfth Night/Lord of Misrule - Christina Dalcher)
Imbolc/St Brigid’s Day/Candlemas
(Blessing of the Throats - Stephanie Ellis)
St. Valentine’s Day
April Fool’s Day
Ostara/Eostre/Vernal Equinox
Walpurgis Night
Beltane/May Day
Midsummer’s Day/St John’s Day/Summer Solstice
Lammas Day/Freyfest
Mabon/Autumnal Equinox
Punky Night
All Soul’s Day/Day of the Dead
Yule/Winter Solstice
(New Year’s Eve - David Shakes)

These days are widely recognised around the world although some may be known by different names, please feel free to use the name traditionally associated with the day you have chosen.

Note: those in brackets will be included but have already been assigned.

Submission Guidelines:
Stories should be in the region of 5000 words. Manuscripts should be submitted in double-spaced, Times-Roman 12pt, contain your contact details on the first page (name, address, email) and generally following the layout as described here.

Content: whilst this is indeed a horror anthology, we do not accept gratuitous sex or violence and definitely no child abuse.

No reprints allowed. Stories must be original and previously unpublished.

You may send more than one story, however only one story per author will be selected.

Send your completed manuscript to: theinfernalclock at gmail dot com. In the subject line, please put: SUBMISSION: CalenDark, name of story, surname

Deadline: September 30th

Intended Publication Date: November

 As a fledgling operation we are currently unable to offer payment although this is something we hope to address as The Infernal Clock grows; however,  all authors will receive a copy of the ebook and retain all rights to their stories.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Infernal Flash Competition - Winner!

Here we are at last. The hourglass is empty and it is time to reveal the winner of our inaugural Flash Fiction Competition. Many thanks once again to all those who entered, we both thoroughly enjoyed reading your stories and Shakes admitted to it being a really close call. As mentioned in the original blogpost for this competition, the winner receives a print copy of The Infernal Clock (we will be in touch to arrange its delivery) and consideration for a place in our next anthology. So who is this lucky person?

Let's wait just a moment longer and read Shakes's comments:

What a great opening with little flourishes and touches that really make the writing sing - the alliteration in the name of the park, the momentum of the journey as we're pulled in to the story alongside our narrator with that small caveat hanging on the end of the paragraph: ' it or not.'

It's the narrator's (and therefore our writer's) eye for detail that marked this story out in my first readings and subsequent selections. So much is told in such a small word limit and that is the mark of great flash fiction and very short stories.

We get setting, character and back-story all in the first third of the tale. As the narrator continues we start to question his reliability although he is quick to admit his own shortcomings as a younger man.
There are some great phrases at play - I loved 'crap-ton' and the stomach churning 'wrongly asymmetrical'.

I can't say much more without spoiling the story. I wish I could write this well. Read it and you'll know why it won. It stayed with me a long time. A very long time. There's gravity here and it pulls you in deep...


And the name of our Winner and the author of The Barker is ...

... Christina Dalcher. Congratulations, Christina, a thoroughly deserved win.

Enjoy her story.

The Barker

I stride through the gates of Palisades Park, past the hootenanny thundering its dance beat, past the girls lined up at the fortune teller’s booth, and into the heart of the action. There’s gravity here; it pulls you in deep, like it or not.

Over at the Helter Skelter slide, Joey stops his routine and points a finger in my direction, crooking it, calling me over. He’s so young, like teenage young.

The barker and me, we go back a while, all the way to short pants and tugging Mary Malone’s red pigtails in third-grade social studies. Year after that, we tried to be blood brothers, but Joey’s always been kind of sensitive—second he saw the bubble of red on my thumb, he passed out. I told some of the other kids about Joey going all sweaty and paste-colored. He didn’t mind too much; said he’d get even one day and slugged my shoulder. That’s the way it is with best friends.

Joey put up with a crap-ton of my antics over the years. Like the time I raided his dad’s liquor cabinet and used the bottles to make Molotov cocktails in his backyard—what an infernal mess that was. Or that one day I asked his little sister out on a date. “Psych!” I said when she agreed. “April Fools!”
Okay. Maybe I was a bit of a shit.

Katie eventually grew out of her buck teeth and braces. I took her to prom and out to the diner afterward, tried to get her to smoke a little weed with me, but that didn’t work. She always wanted to go Palisades Park and slide down the Helter Skelter, the very one Joey barks at now, yelling his spiel, getting customers to fork over their dough for one short ride down and around. So I took her.

“It’s more fun if you’re high,” I said. What I meant was, it’s only fun if you’re high. The Helter Skelter had to be the lamest ride ever. Unexciting, over too soon. Maybe that’s why they tore it down along with the rest of Palisades Park back when the peanut farmer president reigned.

Joey’s standing at his post. He points at me, says he’ll give me a free go if I want. Neither one of us looks at the scarred earth below the slide. If we did, we might see Katie, limp as a kewpie doll, head tilted in an impossible angle. Wrongly asymmetrical, like the Helter Skelter she tried to ride standing up.

I’d told her not to pull so deep on the joint. Joey hands me a paper ticket, the kind with a notch on each side. Admit One, it says. An invitation. His fingernails, gray and cold, graze my hand.

I climb.

The slide is way longer than I remember. It goes around and down, down and around. And it never stops.

It gets hotter, but it never, ever stops.


Christina Dalcher is a theoretical linguist living in the American South. Recognitions include Bath Flash Award’s Short List, nominations for Best of the Net and Best Small Fictions, and second place in Bartleby Snopes 2016 Dialogue-Only Contest. Laura Bradford represents Christina’s novels, which feature a sassy and stubborn phonetician with anger management issues. When she’s not writing, Christina teaches flash fiction at The Muse Writer’s Center in Norfolk Virginia. Find her on Twitter @CVDalcher or read additional short work at

CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac is here!

This is the moment when both Shakes and I can sit back and breathe a collective sigh of relief - for a little while. Over the past couple of...